Alicia Keys—”Doesn’t Mean Anything”
I love the jittery piano rumbling that goes on underneath the arrangement, the sort of subtle touch that suggests Keys may have some musical smarts after all. But this sounds a hell of a lot like “No One”, only less intense, and with no real hook. Which means, unfortunately for Keys, that it may well live up to it’s title. Not to worry, though: a career in soft jazz awaits.
“Taking Chances”, #71
“Somebody To Love”, #85
In a way it’s unfair to review these records: they were obviously put together very quickly (the arrangements are the barest accompaniment and nothing more), the singers aren’t professionals (or at least not professional singers), and the audience buys them more as a souvenir keepsake than for the music. But here they are, creating a small extra revenue stream for the show, and as long as they turn up on the Hot 100 I feel duty bound to tell you what they’re like. They’re awful. I never thought it would be possible to miss Celine Dion, but I do, and as for their version of Queen’s (as opposed to Jefferson Airplane’s) “Somebody to Love”, I found it impossible to listen a second time. Aping Grace Slick, as horrifying as that sounds, might actually have been a better choice.
David Nail—”Red Light”
There’s a decent breakup song buried in here somewhere, but I dare you to find it under all the country bombast. Nail isn’t a bad singer, either, but he’s trying so hard to be heard above the noise that you’d never know it.
This is the opening cut of Maxwell’s BlackSummersNight trilogy, and it sounds like it. It’s a microcosm of the album as a whole, more an overture designed to introduce the various themes than a complete unit in itself,and it doesn’t quite work as a single. That build through the first couple of minutes sure is something, though; I could listen to that forever.
Pink has been milking Funhouse the album for so long I’m beginning to wonder if she’s going through some sort of extended mourning period for her marriage, one that feels like it’s never going to end. I suppose the title of this song is intended ironically, which might explain why it isn’t much fun at all, but doesn’t explain why it’s a banal pastiche. It’s got energy, for sure, just no brains.
The mix of Hank and AC/DC Morgan brags about here might have been surprising four or five year ago, when Big and Rich did it, but now it’s just another modern country cliche, to go along with the beer and the pickup trucks. And the loud. Don’t forget the loud.